(26 June 2017) Last week European Civil Society organisations sent a letter to Members of the European Parliament calling on them to defend the right to energy. The letter, signed by anti-poverty associations, environmental NGOs and trade unions, pointed out that, in one of the richest regions in the world, nearly 125 millions citizens are living in energy poverty and that every winter 200,000 people die from the cold.
Energy poverty is the result of three interlinked factors: high energy prices, low incomes and the energy inefficiency of badly insulated housing. All three work in a vicious circle. The situation is now even more alarming with increasing price volatility of energy, stagnating incomes and the lack of investment across Europe.
There is a need for a clear strategy to tackle energy poverty. The first step is to protect those who are already in energy poverty. The coalition that has been created to do this aims to have a powerful impact on the debates in the European Parliament and Council on the so-called winter package.
To guarantee to all European citizens affordable and renewable energy and energy-efficient housing, the European Parliament has to make the first step.